Beach Update: Medals of Every Color in Cuba

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | April 30, 2018, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Beach volleyball teams on the podium in Cuba
U.S. and international teams stand on the podium in Varadero, Cuba.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 30, 2018)
– The U.S. beach team of Avery Drost and Chase Frishman reached its third podium of 2018 and took its second gold medal on Sunday when it won the NORCECA Circuit event in Varadero, Cuba.

Two other U.S. teams also reached the podium as Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock took silver in the women’s event and Reid Priddy and Troy Field won bronze for the men. Kimberly Smith and Mackenzie Ponnet finished fourth in the women’s bracket.

Drost and Frishman went 7-0 in the tournament. Two of their victories came over Priddy and Field in pool play (21-17, 21-16) and the semifinals (21-15, 21-18).

In the final, Drost and Frishman defeated Cuba’s Nivaldo Díaz and Sergio González, 21-18, 21-16.

“It was a great opportunity to play against Sergio and Nivaldo,” Drost said in a NORCECA press release. “We have a lot of respect for them. We are friends. They play well, but we always think we can win if we play together without fear.”

In the bronze medal match, Priddy and Field beat Canada’s Michael Plantinga and Aaron Nusbaum, 21-18, 20-22, 15-12. It was the third straight NORCECA medal for the U.S. pair. They won silver in Aguascalientes, Mexico and La Paz, Mexico.

Drost and Frishman took bronze in La Paz and won the gold medal at the FIVB one-star event in Shepparton, Australia.

Dowdy and Pollock, who also won gold in Shepparton, were competing in their first NORCECA event of 2018 and went 6-1 in Varadero.

Dowdy and Pollock beat Ponnet and Smith in the semifinals, 21-14, 21-19. They lost to Cuba’s Leila Martínez and Maylen Delis in the gold medal match, 21-16, 24-22.

Ponnet and Smith lost the bronze medal match to Mexico’s Zaira Orellana and Martha Revuelta, 21-11, 21-12.

FIVB/AVP IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

A U.S. beach volleyball battle royale to rival Fortnite begins May 1 at the FIVB Huntington Beach Open hosted by the AVP on May 1-6 in California.

The Huntington Beach Open will feature a 48-team double-elimination main draw bracket per gender. With 40 men's and 40 women's pairs being placed into the main draw that starts on May 3. Preliminary play will be held Tuesday and Wednesday to qualify another eight teams per gender.

The semifinals and medal matches will be played May 6 with the winning teams netting the $20,000 first-place prizes.

Forty-one U.S. men’s beach teams and 36 U.S. women’s teams are entered in the event along with international teams from 22 other countries. Only the following U.S. teams are guaranteed spots in the main draw (listed by FIVB ranking):

Women
7. Brooke Sweat/Lauren Fendrick
8. Summer Ross/Sara Hughes
14. Alix Klineman/April Ross
21. Brittany Hochevar/Kelly Claes
25. Betsi Flint/Emily Day
26. Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
30. Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock
31. Lane Carico/Caitlin Ledoux
33. Geena Urango/Allison McColloch
34. Katherine Spieler/Karissa Cook
35. Lara Dykstra/Sheila Shaw
36. Kendra VanZwieten/Jenny Ann Kropp
37. Bree Scarbrough/Aurora Davis
38. Kelly Reeves/Brittany Howard
39. Sarah Day/Nicolette Martin
40. Kimberly Smith/Mackenzie Ponnet

Men
1. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena
13. John Hyden/Theo Brunner
16. Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb
21. Billy Allen/Ryan Doherty
26. Stafford Slick/Casey Patterson
27. Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske
30. John Mayor/Trevor Crabb
31. Sean Rosenthal/Chase Budinger
32. Avery Drost/Chase Frishman
34. Eric Zaun/Ed Ratledge
35. Jeremy Casebeer/Reid Priddy
36. Spencer Sauter/Adam Roberts
37. Mark Burik/Curt Toppel
38. Raffe Paulis/Andrew Dentler
39. Ty Loomis/Michael Brunsting
40. Maddison McKibbin/Riley McKibbin

For more information, visit the FIVB web site.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

The NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball Committee announced the eight-team field for the 2018 National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship.

The finalists selected from the east region are Florida International University, Florida State University and the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Pepperdine University, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Hawaii, Manoa made up the west region selections; while Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California were granted at-large bids.

The seeds in order are as follows:
1. UCLA
2. Pepperdine
3. Hawaii
4. Florida State
5. Southern California
6. South Carolina
7. LSU
8. FIU

The championship will be held May 4-6, in Gulf Shores, Ala. The event will be televised live by ESPN networks, with ESPNU providing live coverage on Friday, May 4 starting at 10 a.m. ET. Live coverage will continue Saturday, May 5 on ESPN2, starting at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2. The championship dual will air on ESPN Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m. ET.

Live streaming coverage of every court throughout the tournament will be available on ESPN3.

All championship site match times and more information about the championship, log on to ncaa.com/beachvolleyball.

COLLEGIATE BEACH CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series presented by Xfinity will make its first stop at the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships on May 9-12 in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

The dual-gendered event returns with up to a 32-team bracket, per gender. The qualification tournament will be played May 9, followed by a main draw tournament, which consists of pool play and a single elimination bracket May 10-12. The finals will be televised on NBCSN from 4-6 p.m. ET on May 12.

Teams are playing for a spot to represent the United States at the 2018 FISU World University Championships.